Trend spotter: In the Web age, a personalized recipe book
Two new projects help bring your favorite recipes to life.
Courtesy of Tastebook
As cooking shows and food websites grow ever more popular, the only thing missing is a convenient way to get all that newly acquired knowledge into the kitchen. Which is why the fall season was something of a boon for the tech-savvy cook.
Within weeks of each other, two online applications that make it possible to collect recipes into hardcover, personalized cookbooks were launched. Now they're looking to expand their services. TasteBook (www.tastebook .com) gives users access to recipes posted on Epicurious.com, online home of Gourmet and Bon Appétit magazines. Create-A-Cookbook (all recipes.com/features/more/createa cookbook.aspx) is the product of another big online player, the folksier community recipe site Allrecipes.com. Both allow users to upload recipes from their own trove.
"In some ways, I'm surprised it's taken so long – because what is a recipe box if not your own cookbook," says Mitchell Davis, vice president of the James Beard Foundation, which confers the industry's most prestigious cookbook awards.
Mr. Davis, who has not yet seen either product, suggests that TasteBook and Create-A-Cookbook are the confluence of two broader trends: the expanded ease of online publishing and the continued demand for customization.
Traffic to the two sites seems to bear this out. Since its October launch, founder Kamran Mohsenin says over 200,000 people have visited TasteBook's website, uploading more than 130,000 personal recipes. Meanwhile, in its first month, interest in Create-A-Cookbook tripled, according to Judith Dern, a spokeswoman for Allrecipes.com, which does not release numbers.
Create-A-Cookbook has begun offering a new $15 service that takes recipes in any form – even those handwritten by Grandma – and inputs them for customers. In the next few months, TasteBook will announce a number of new partnerships. Looking to the future, Mr. Mohsenin says, "If a recipe appears in a magazine, it's probably going to appear on TasteBook."
By the numbers: At $35 for 100 recipes, TasteBook has an expandable binder format that makes it possible to add additional pages at any time. A 20-page Create-A-Cookbook is $35 in hardcover and $25 in softcover.